Now They’re Just Screwing With Us! High End Russian Prostitution Ring Edition

From The New York Post (emphasis mine):

A flamboyant husband-and-wife pimp team orchestrated a high-end prostitution ring through a website called Russian Dolls, Manhattan authorities said Wednesday.

Yevgen Rizanov and Ksenia Khodukina, both 29, flew women from Russia to New York as part of a “sophisticated long-term operation promoting prostitution,” said Assistant District Attorney James Lynch.

The couple and a third defendant, Arkadiy Bashkatov, housed the sex workers in Brooklyn and dispatched them on jobs throughout New York, booking their hotels and hiring drivers, from June 2015 to June 2018, according to Manhattan prosecutors.

“The defendants split the money with the women but dictated the percentage they could keep,” the ADA said.

The Russian nationals were picked up last week in Miami at their tony beachfront pad inside the Trump Towers III*, where they allegedly ran their illicit enterprise remotely.

They moved from Brighton Beach to Florida a few months earlier, according to their attorney.

I don’t know who thought this script was going to fly, but they need to have their head examined and it needs to be sent back to rewrite.

Never before have the Balloon Juice categories of domestic affairs and foreign affairs been so literally applicable to a post. Yeah us!!!!

Open thread!

* You can find excellent reporting on all of the Russian criminal activities being run out of the President’s properties, both owned and branded, here and here. Surely a series of coincidences…

Our Failed Media Open Thread: Faux News & Friends… But *Also* (Some of) the NYTimes

Open Thread: “But the Bigots Deplorables BASE Loves Him for It!”

Happening Now: Trump-Putin Meeting. Or Summit?

I’m a little late to this, and the two world leaders are in their meeting.

Don’t forget – This is the man who didn’t know what the nuclear triad was during his campaign. The New START treaty, which limits nuclear warheads on both sides, is coming up for renewal, but I’ll bet he has no idea what it is. Besides, it is one of Obama’s treaties, negotiated by a team that was led by a woman and staffed by a team about equally men and women. But I doubt he knows that last part either. My guess is he’ll go for something like what the Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik failed to achieve – a plan for total nuclear disarmament. If he can avoid giving away America’s nuclear arsenal for a promise that he can build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Anyhoo, I’ll post interesting tweets as they come in.

Monday Morning Lighter Topics Open Thread: All Those Billions, and He Still Can’t Buy A Clue

In our new high-speed globally-connected universe, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is no longer just for the low-IQ and ill-educated. Elon Musk apparently believes himself to be an expert at EVERYTHING, if only because his millions of busy twitter fanbois couldn’t possibly be wrong!

Per the Washington Post, because it has the most comprehensive background I’ve seen:

It has been five days since a dozen boys were rescued from a flooded cave in Thailand, and five days since Elon Musk has been wandering in a Twitter labyrinth of his own making.

The Silicon Valley engineer and billionaire was briefly seen in Thailand last week, hauling a miniature submarine to the mouth of the cave just before an international dive team rescued the boys without it.

Since then, he has been arguing with people who accuse him of shoehorning himself into the drama and imagining hypotheticals in which rescuers had not deemed his hastily built submarine unnecessary and impractical.

This has, inevitably, led Musk into a rhetorical war with people who actually participated in the rescue operation — a war that he drastically escalated on Sunday morning, when he called one of the cave explorers a “pedo.”…

It really had nothing to do with Musk — until one of his Twitter fans suggested, a week and a half into the operation, that he build an invention to help get the boys out.

As Abby Ohlheiser has already chronicled for The Washington Post, Musk accepted the challenge with “a lengthy, live brainstorming process on Twitter,” which ended when he traveled to Thailand with a miniature submarine made from rocket parts, tweeted some photos of the cave, left the device there and went home…

Then, three days after the rescue operation was completed, CNN posted an interview with a British spelunker who had helped locate the boys. That spelunker, Vernon Unsworth, called Musk’s submarine “a PR stunt.”…

In a series of tweets that Musk appears to have deleted while this article was being written, he claimed that he had been repeatedly asked by rescuers to build the sub. He wrote that he was escorted into the cave by Thai Navy SEALS — “total opposite of wanting us to leave.”

He said he had not seen Unsworth — whom he dismissed as “this British expat guy who lives in Thailand” — during his brief guided tour of the cave system and suggested that, therefore, Unsworth had not actually participated in the rescue operation. (Unsworth absolutely and crucially had, per CNN.)…

And midway through his rant, for some inexplicable reason, he accused Unsworth of sex crimes…

Read more